Moderna on Thursday asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a lower-dose version of its COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than 6 years old.
Sources said if, by chance, FDA approves the two-dose treatment, Moderna’s immunizations could become the first available to some of America’s youngest residents — who have been mostly unprotected during the years-long coronavirus pandemic.
At the moment, only those ages 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated, leaving about 18 million all but exposed to the fast-spreading disease.
“We are proud to share that we have submitted for authorization for our COVID-19 vaccine for young children,” said Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive officer, in a statement.
“We believe [the vaccine] will be able to safely protect these children against SARS-CoV-2, which is so important in our continued fight against COVID-19, and will be especially welcomed by parents and caregivers,” Bancel added in the same statement.
The move of Moderna came as a response to the call for many families for a shot that would be available for some of the littlest in the nation.
Last month, Moderna revealed that its COVID-19 vaccine for younger children generated a strong immune response.
In testing the treatment among two groups — 6 months old to 23 months old as well as 2 years old to under 6 years old — researchers saw a “robust neutralizing antibody response” and a “favorable safety profile.”
Moderna said the shots proved between 40% and 50% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 during the trial, and there were no severe side effects.